I was inspired to create this list of movies and series to watch during Black History Month by “Women of the Movement”, a mini-series jointly produced by Jay Z and Will Smith. This mini-series covers the events of Emmett Till’s murder and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley’s, fight for justice.
It got me to thinking, motherhood claims we’re all one when it comes to our children, but, like Mamie, why are Black mothers constantly fighting alone when it comes to protecting and ensuring quality of life for our children? I guess we’re not all one. I want non-Black moms to watch and share these stories with their children, families, and other mom groups, hoping that the conversation sounds differently than it did before.
I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to categorize this list based on kid ages and how kid-friendly BUT I chose not for two reasons.
- You know what children can understand.
- Racism and other systems of oppression doesn’t filter through ages or how kid-friendly it is.
We live these experiences daily, no matter how micro- or macro- the aggressions are, so sitting for 2+ hours is the least any non-Black person can do, especially when people are constantly begging for resources. If it’s “too much,” “too graphic,” or “too political,” then that’s too bad. If only we could be so lucky to turn off the inequality.
Black History Month is 28 days, 29 if given a leap year. There are 28 films on this list, give or take. Try to watch movie a day, either individually or collectively as a family. These movies are sure to jumpstart after-dinner table conversations. In addition to your Black History screen time, dive deep into some Black history suggested reading.
The Hate You Give
Do the right thing
Judas and the Black Messiah
Miss Evers’ Boys
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The United States vs. Billie Holiday
I Am Not Your Negro
The Birth of a Nation
Say Her Name- The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
Finding Kendrick Johnson
Women of the Movement
When They See Us
The Kalief Browder Story
Amend: The Fight for America
Cinderella (Brandy & Whitney Houston)
The Black Panther
The Great Debaters
Betty & Coretta
The Karate Kid (Jaden Smith)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The Princess & The Frog
Black is King
Colin in Black & White
Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Space Jam (Michael Jordan & Lebron James)
See You Yesterday
Akeelah and The Bee
Honestly, this list is never ending, which could extend your Black history watch party to throughout the year. If anything, these films and series show you that being hateful, unethical, unjust, and racist is easy; it’s being actively anti-racist that takes the work.
Also, remember that the whitewashing of historical realities/narratives and Hollywood films does not measure up to the real life experiences of Black Americans. When you watch these stories, see you and your family on the receiving end of racism. Hopefully, a new perspective is gained.